Healthy Eating Recipes

Four (Husband-Approved) Make Ahead Freezer Meals

Make ahead freezer meals are perfect for busy families, aren’t they?  But when you’re not busy and not much else to do?  Why in the world would you need to prep freezer meals?  Well, here are a few reasons why and four (husband-approved) make ahead freezer meals that have been a big hit in our home.

Freezer Meals

True confession time.  In the old days, our family regularly ate store-bought frozen meals.  I know, it’s hard to believe.  For work lunches, I always packed a salad and usually brought a frozen meal for a hot lunch. 

Scarfing my lunch down in a half hour never left much time for reflection, but one day I realized what I was eating tasted nothing like actual food.

And.  Ummm.  Maybe wasn’t all that good for me.  Or my family.

Fast forward to the past ten or fifteen years, and we are diligent about preparing and cooking most of our meals.

But now, our eating schedules and diets rarely overlap.  While I’m fine missing dinner, hub starts scrounging around and most times will end up with some baked potato concoction.

Why Homemade Frozen Meals

Store-bought frozen meals are very expensive, rarely come in gluten-free options and don’t look any tastier than they did 15 years ago.

Tried and True Comfort Food Recipes

I dug out my old three-ring binder where I have kept our favorite recipes from over the years.  Many were printed out from the old Cooking Light days. 

Man, am I glad I printed those, because they are no longer available Online.

Meat Dishes

Hub decided that he would be fine making vegetables and potato side dishes when he got ready to eat them, so I made meat dishes only with the exception of a chicken and broccoli casserole.

The meat portion is prepped, cooked, divided into single servings and frozen in easily stackable Ziplocs, plastic containers (which we refer to as Tupperware around here) or little foil baking trays with paper foil lids.


Each of these recipes have been shared before, so I’ll share the hyperlink to either the post or the original Website.

Shopping, Prepping, Cooking, Cleaning

Ground turkey meat was about the only ingredient we didn’t have on hand, so one of the large packages from Costco was the perfect size to make the meatballs and Salisbury steak (which is half ground beef and half ground turkey).

All recipes were adapted to a gluten-free diet.

Employing every appliance and surface in my kitchen, I was able to basically do everything at once.  The meatballs are a Crockpot recipe so I got those started first.

I quickly cleaned the meatball prep bowls and then started on mixing up meatloaf to go in the oven and then the Salisbury steaks which go into a large sauté pan.

Similar prep ingredients and bowls made this an intuitive work flow.

You’ll see that the Salisbury steak recipe calls for a tad of wine.  I was not actually drinking that for myself.  The outcome might have different if I had been.

Meatloaf and Chicken Broccoli Casserole both needed to bake in the oven but went pretty quickly.  Salisbury steak was stovetop and meatballs Crockpot, so the production line moved nicely.

This was my idea and my project, so I tied on my new Christmas apron, fired up a good Pandora station and got to it.  Hub offered to help, but I didn’t really need any.

And then.  He saw the dishes piling up.  He is a clean-as-you-go cook and I’m a pile-it-up and do-at-the-end cook.  It made him crazy I do believe, so he stepped in and really did a lot of the dishes while I sang away.

You know I love to share my kitchen disasters but this one wasn’t too bad.  Lots of drying and then sanitizing the sink and surfaces was about all there was left to do.

All in all, this project took about 2-3 hours in one afternoon.  But, of course, I wasn’t drinking wine.


This is an N=1 sample size, but I think you’ll still get a pretty verified review when I tell you John has been happily mowing through these dinners and has given them all a thumbs-up for a repeat performance.

The meatballs are made into a tasty sandwich using the Udi’s baguette and topped with fresh mozzarella.  Not much extra to do there.

Meatloaf heated in the counter-top oven while a potato baked and Brussels sprouts cooked.  Pretty minimal work for a full meal.

Salisbury Steak and their gravy topped mashed potatoes so took not much other than prepping potatoes.

Chicken broccoli casserole heated in the oven and no extra side was needed.

Wrap Up

The four make ahead freezer recipes made about ten separate meals. That leaves me happy that fresh ingredients are being used in our home and hub is getting some healthy dinner options.

As for me, I’m recommitting myself to a healthier diet now and cleaning things up a bit.  Oh, how quickly I stray from the straight and narrow.  That is for sharing on another post.

Until, next time, have a wonderful weekend and I hope this motivates you to find healthful and time-saving options for you and yours.